Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Here's some stats on trucker pay. 1.87M jobs in US $42,480 median annual pay $20.42/hr median hourly pay Aggregate wages is about $80B, adding in another $80B for benefits and other payroll overhead gets us to $160B. This gives us a rough sense of the market size for autonomous driving in the US trucking industry. Suppose that autonomous driving were to capture a 1% share of this market. That would be about $1.6B in annual profit without fundamentally shifting the economics of trucking that would cause margin compression. The first entrants to the market with this technology have the potential to gain a few points of very profitable market share. Let's look at this from a ground up perspective. Tesla makes a semi that it could sell for $180k and get a nice profit. However, this can also be used as a platoon follow on vehicle with nearly no driver cost. So AI in the truck earns about $40/hr. Suppose the vehicle is on the road 75% of the time. The other 25% is charging, maintenance, loading or waiting. That is about 6570 hours of operation per year, a driver savings of about $250k/yr. Suppose the truck has a working life in excess of 20k hours (1M miles / 50 mph). So the truck has a driver savings potential in excess of $800k as a follow-on vehicle. You still need a pilot vehicle until laws allow fully autonomy. The pilot driver would likely need to be paid above scale. So a platoon of 3 could save about $500k per truck over a 3-year warranted life of the vehicle. The point that I'm getting to here is that it make little sense for Tesla to sell the truck for $180k and miss out on earning $500k in driver cost savings. This is especially true in the early stages of technology deployment. As the tech eventually saturates the market, that $500k savings gets driven down to practically nothing, which is also what kill off most trucking jobs. But early on in the disruption, Tesla could enjoy some pretty extraordinary profits by NOT SELLING semi, but rather by operating its own trucking company. A fair value for the Tesla Semi with autonomous follow on technology is about $1M per truck. They would be foolish to sell it below $200k. I think this is why Elon is downplaying the Semi and talking about bringing a pickup truck to market first. The Semi Trucks are simply too disruptive and worth too much to put them up for public sale.